There are around 6 million businesses running in the UK, 99% of which are small to medium-sized operations.
With tough market competition and the tremendous amount of effort and focus required to establish a successful business, the last thing that business owners want is to worry about threats such as commercial burglaries.
Sadly, these threats are very real and must be dealt with accordingly.
For many, dealing with the losses linked to commercial burglaries becomes quite a challenge and forces some to even shut down completely.
The good news is that there are ways you can protect your business from burglaries and keep such criminals as far away as possible.
Before we share our top commercial burglary prevention tips, you must understand the different types of commercial burglaries, and what you, as a business owner, are doing to attract them.
COMMERCIAL BURGLARY 101
A commercial burglary includes the unlawful entering of a shop, store, office building, warehouse, or any type of commercial property to commit a felony or theft.
They are a serious offence that carries a sentence ranging between a fine to five years in prison, with more serious ones leading up to 10 years as well. If it is a case of an aggravated commercial burglary, which includes the perpetrators causing physical harm to another person, they can expect to serve a life sentence.
TYPES OF COMMERCIAL BURGLARIES
There are three broad types of commercial burglaries that differ in the characteristics of the unlawful actions involved:
- Smash and grab
Smash and grab burglary cause a lot of damage to the property since it employs the use of force to enter the premises, usually by smashing something and grabbing whatever the burglars can find. Hence the name “smash and grab”.
It is usually planned and the burglars come equipped with tools to cut through locks and grilles.
The burglars try to get in and out as quickly as possible and their usual targets are high-end businesses, such as luxury brands, since they can quickly grab expensive and valuable merchandise to steal.
The smash and grab burglary also often uses stolen cars to ram into the property as a break-in technique. It is called ram-raiding and it causes significant damages, posing a serious threat to public safety.
This type involves the burglars looking for an opportunity to break in and are usually spur of the moment.
Since there is no prior planning involved, it doesn’t lead to significant losses. The burglars quickly make their way in and grab whatever object is closest to them, especially items kept near the entrance. Which is why valuables must always be stored someplace safe and kept away from plain sight.
The sophisticated burglary is planned out in advance and takes into consideration all the obstacles and hindrances that could make their plan unsuccessful.
The targets are usually items of exceptionally high value and the burglars sometimes use valuable inside knowledge to get to them.
They either completely overcome security alarms or tamper with them to break in unnoticed. Another common trick that these schemers use is to trigger the alarm over and over again, until it is dismissed as a false alarm, giving them a golden opportunity to easily break-in.
WHAT ATTRACTS BURGLARS TO YOUR BUSINESS?
Why me? That is a question people generally ask when something unfortunate, such as a burglary, befalls them.
Come to think of it, why them?
Sometimes it’s just pure bad luck while for the rest of the time, its poor security measures and sheer ignorance on the business owner’s part that attract criminals to their business.
When looking for potential targets, these are the things burglars look for:
This is a no-brainer. Burglars burgle for the sole intent of stealing valuable items which they can sell further for money.
Businesses selling recognizable valuables such as jewellery, electronics, and high-end fashion wear are susceptible to break-ins due to the high-value inventory they stock.
Such businesses must keep their stock protected and enforce strict security measures which we will discuss in our commercial burglary prevention tips.
It’s all about the money. The crime world revolves around money and commercial burglaries are no different.
Establishments such as banks have always been a hot target for all kinds of crooks since it’s like hitting a jackpot.
In recent news, a burglar escaped with a huge haul of cash after robbing Slaithwaite bank by threatening an employee with a screwdriver and hammer.
Beefing up their security and strict safety measures must be employed to avoid any such incidents from happening and to keep the businesses up and running.
- Easy access
Burglars look for businesses without proper gates, locks, and physical reinforcements since it makes breaking in quicker and easier.
Also, businesses operating with open access for all’ policy is like inviting criminals to visit as well. Special care must be taken at crucial entry points of the premises, only allowing people with access to enter.
- Inadequate lighting
Dimly lit properties provide the perfect cover for burglars to illegally enter the property without being noticed.
All the entrances and exits of the premises must be properly lit so that any trespassers can be easily caught.
If there is a parking area at the property, it must be given special attention since it’s the perfect hiding spot for burglars, who might even try and rob the employees coming to get their cars.
- No security
Many businesses don’t understand the importance of investing in a good security system and consider them to be added costs. They must, instead, be seen as an investment that keeps you, your property, and its assets safe and protected.
TOP COMMERCIAL BURGLARY PREVENTION TIPS
Research suggests that businesses are a more lucrative target for burglars because they house more assets and valuables than a residential property.
This gives business owners all the more reason to take the safety of their business seriously. Here are our top commercial burglary prevention tips to help take your business off the radar for crooks:
- Keep cash and valuables secure
If your business deals with valuables or high-value inventory of any kind, it’s a good idea to store them in a secure place, away from plain sight.
Professionally installed business safes, that are securely bolted in place, provide a viable option for protecting such items. A safe is an essential security measure for any business to protect cash, stock, valuables, and important business documents.
Product displays, in the case of store owners, must always be removed at the end of every day. It is also recommended to never have huge amounts of cash at hand and to always deposit it at the bank.
- Restricted access
Burglars look for easy access and the easiest way for them to break in is through open/unlocked doors and windows.
Businesses must adopt a closed-door policy since would-be intruders can easily analyse the layout and structure of the premises through open doors. This is especially beneficial for businesses located in busy areas with high traffic.
The entry and exit points must be locked at all times with high-quality anti-snap locks, and certain restricted areas of the business must have access control systems installed so that only authorized personnel can enter.
Many commercial properties can benefit from some kind of keyless door entry such as access control systems that allow them to control who enters the building and which areas of it. It can eradicate the need for keys which can be lost, stolen, or broken, and it allows them to give or withdraw access instantly.
- Replace traditional glass doors and windows
Even though glass gives a clean and elegant look, it is very easy to break, making it the wrong choice for many businesses susceptible to burglaries.
For burglars adopting the smash and grab burglary method, smashing glass is one of the most common ways to gain entry into the premises.
To deter criminals from doing so, consider replacing the glass doors and windows with something sturdier and more durable. If using glass is still your preferred choice, you may opt for tempered glass, which is a lot stronger than the traditional variety.
- Conceal outside wiring
Burglars will get their hands on anything and everything that’ll help put your business in a vulnerable state, and that is especially true for burglars adopting the sophisticated burglary method.
A favourite practice among burglars is cutting wires placed outside of a building to disrupt the power and disable security systems in the premises. This gives them an advantage making it easier to carry out their plan.
For this reason, all outside wiring such as electrical, security, and telephone, must be concealed properly using cable conduits or other masking methods.
- Increase visibility
One of the best ways to keep burglars away from your business is to keep it illuminated at all times, with adequate lighting both inside and outside of your premises. Breaking into a well-lit property is risky for burglars since all their actions can be seen clearly by everyone.
Special attention must be given to main areas such as entry and exit points and parking lots, where burglars might lurk and hide.
Installing motion-activated lights is a great way to ensure you’re alerted every time someone is in the vicinity. Even if you aren’t there to monitor your property, they can be seen by passers-by and the police can be alerted.
In short, having well-lit premises can be enough of a deterrent when it comes to business security. It has huge psychological implications that prevent crime. Even if a robbery does occur, there is a very good chance that the CCTV will pick up and help identify the perpetrators with greater ease.
- Monitored burglar alarm
Having a professionally installed security system such as a burglar alarm is one of the best things you can do for your business’s security.
This, along with our other top commercial burglary prevention tips will ensure that your business is protected from the inside out.
Suspicious activities such as someone trespassing or trying to break in trigger the alarm, making a loud sound, sometimes accompanied by flashing lights.
- CCTV surveillance
CCTV systems not just record and monitor, but also help gather evidence against crimes committed. This ensures that even if someone, somehow breaks into a property with CCTV surveillance, the chances of them getting caught get extremely high.
Professional CCTV monitoring ensures that your business is being watched over by a professional monitoring staff in real-time for crimes such as commercial burglaries, and is especially beneficial for when the business is unoccupied or in a vulnerable state.
- Security system integration
For added protection and deterrence, the CCTV cameras can be integrated with the burglar alarms so that whenever the CCTV camera picks up anything suspicious, the alarm can automatically be triggered to inform everyone in the vicinity of the intrusion, possibly scaring away the crooks.
Integrating both the systems with smart lights fitted at the premises is another extremely great way to scare them away. As soon as the alarm is triggered, all the smart lights are turned on, illuminating the entire property and exposing the criminals.
- Train your staff
The employees and staff members are the backbone of any business. What they do and how they reflect a lot on how your business functions, and implementing security measures is no different.
All of the above-mentioned commercial burglary prevention tips must be followed keeping all staff members in the loop. They must be trained on the best security measures and the safety protocols to follow.
Make sure the authorized staff members know how to operate the business security systems such as arming and disarming the alarm. Selected employees must be delegated responsibilities for checking the locks on the doors and windows, implementing a closed-door policy, and keeping the property well-kept, maintained, and properly illuminated.
- Employ responsible people
Remember, every business is as good as its employees and this comparison extends to employee morality and business safety as well. It is very important to have only honest and responsible people employed in your business.
Employees sometimes have access to confidential information about the business that can make or break it. Certain people with bad intentions might leak that valuable information for reasons such as affiliation with burglars or just out of spite.
This is how sophisticated burglars get access to inside knowledge and make use of it to break in and steal valuables. The inside knowledge might include the exact location of the valuables and where the business safe is kept.
A very strict screening process must be implemented during recruitment to ensure there are only good, responsible people on the team. Maintaining an “employee morality” record will also be a huge plus.
- Consult with a security specialist
For the best security practices tailored for your business, it is always a great idea to consult with a security specialist.
There are a variety of systems to choose from and it can sometimes be very difficult to make the right decision.
An experienced security company will assess your business, identify vulnerabilities, and help you choose the best security measures and systems.
CHOOSE CALDER SECURITY TO BURGLE-PROOF YOUR BUSINESS
Calder security is Yorkshire’s leading independent security company, operating in the security industry for over 40 years.
We have comprehensive solutions to help you burgle-proof your business and we install only state-of-the-art burglar alarms and CCTV systems, tailored for your business’s needs.
Our services include professional installation by our SSAIB-approved installers and contractors, maintenance services and contracts, professional monitoring services by experts manning our alarm receiving centres, and repairing all kinds of faults.